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« Re: Celebrity | Main | He Saved a Wretch like Me »

June 28, 2007

They who must not be named

Roberto—understood. I’m not encouraging anyone to wallow in the toxic waters of the celebrity culture. (For the record, I’m all in favor of Ms. Brzezinski’s impulse to stifle the Paris Hilton story, whether the theatrics were appropriate or not. It had no business leading the news on that or any other night.)

And believe me, I would never count you among the “preeners.” In fact, I remember all those film junkets you used to have to do, so I can appreciate that you must feel jaded about the whole topic! I would probably feel the same way by now if I’d had to wade through all that. I’m not saying that all who avoid the celebrity culture are snobbish—most of them do it for excellent reasons—or that the two choices you mention are the only choices there are.

What I was talking about are the people who find it necessary to pick up the garlic, stake, and cross every time a celebrity’s name is pronounced in their vicinity. I exaggerate . . . but not by much. I’ve heard from people who are so sick of celebrities being shoved in their faces—and I do understand that feeling quite well—that they’ve come to believe it’s their right not to have to read or hear those names ever written or said by anyone. (Which can make it very difficult to talk about Christian worldview and its relationship to the arts, media, or pop culture at all.) Or they look down their noses at anyone and everyone associated with the rich, the entertainment industry, and all combinations and permutations thereof, and habitually think and speak of them en masse as less than human. And that’s where I think the problem lies.

All I’m saying is this: When the subject does come up, even though we may have made praiseworthy efforts to avoid it for our own mental and spiritual health, perhaps we should try to think of these people not as either gods or monsters, but as human beings and even fellow Image-bearers. I would think it would prevent us from rushing to either extreme, and just might do us a bit of spiritual good.

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